Instagram will now start showing users when their friends are online or were last active on the network in the Direct Messages option. WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger also have a similar online/last seen feature and it looks like Instagram, which is also owned by Facebook, is now the latest to get this. However, users will have the option of turning off the feature in Settings as well.
To be clear, not all your followers will be able to see as soon as you are online on Instagram. But friends and followers with whom you have exchanged Direct Messages, they will be able see your active status and vice-versa. If you are active on Instagram at a particular moment, then these friends with whom you have direct messages, will see ‘Active Now’ next to your name.
Direct Messages as a feature has gained popularity on Instagram, especially after the introduction of Instagram Stories. When a user shares a Daily Story, and a friend posts a reply to this, it is shared as a direct message on the app. The new active now and last active feature is likely aimed at making messaging on the app a more seamless experience.
Still, Instagram is giving users the option of turning off the last seen status on the app. For this users can go to settings in the app, and keep scrolling down till you see the “Show activity status.” Toggle this off and your followers, friends will no longer be able to see your active status. Instagram explains this setting as the following, “Allow accounts you follow and anyone you message to see when you were last active in Instagram apps. When this is turned off, you won’t be able to see the activity status of other accounts.”
There’s no doubt that Instagram is an important app in the Facebook universe with many brands picking the platform for advertising It has grown to 800 million monthly active users with over 500 million daily active users. The platform has over 2 million advertisers as well.